Bruins notebook

McQuaid injury may force shift

Hnidy the likely blue-line fill-in

By Barbara Matson
Globe Correspondent / May 4, 2011

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When Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid crashed headfirst into the endboards at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia in the first period of Monday’s overtime win over the Flyers, a shiver went through the Boston bench.

The big, strong 24-year-old, who tried to throw a hit on Mike Richards and missed, slid forcefully into the boards, his head snapping back as his teammates winced.

McQuaid lay on the ice for a minute or two, before Zdeno Chara and Milan Lucic helped him off. He went to Jefferson Hospital for evaluation but was able to travel home with the team.

Yesterday, coach Claude Julien reported McQuaid had suffered a sprained neck.

“Everything so far has come out negative,’’ Julien said, “so he’s a day-to-day player right now.’’

Though Julien was noncommittal — “we’ve got some options and the decision will be made tomorrow,’’ he said — it’s probable that Shane Hnidy will be the replacement if McQuaid is unable to play tonight at TD Garden in Game 3.

Hnidy, a Bruin in the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons, signed a one-year deal in February while still recovering from shoulder surgery. He has played once in this season’s playoffs, in Game 2 against Montreal, when a virus sidelined Zdeno Chara.

“That’s my job, that’s why I’ve been here,’’ said Hnidy. “Guys are here working every day behind the scenes to create a situation where if somebody goes down, you’ve got to be prepared to play.

“Unfortunately, that’s where we’re at. At the same time, it’s up to me to make sure I’m ready to go.’’

Steven Kampfer, the 22-year-old puck-moving defenseman who played 38 games with the Bruins this season beginning in December, took his first skate yesterday since suffering a knee injury with Providence on the final weekend of the regular season.

Kampfer, whose youth and inexperience began to show up in mistakes on the ice late in the season, was scratched for nine of Boston’s last 10 games and sent to Providence to get playing time. Julien said it will be a while before Kampfer is ready to play in games.

Hnidy, like McQuaid, plays a physical game, and like McQuaid, he’s a righthand shot.

“I know what’s expected of me, and I know what the playoffs are going to be like,’’ said Hnidy, an 11-year pro. “I’ve got to be solid in my own end and physical, and we’ve got to really move that puck quick up to our forwards. The quicker you can move it from one end to another, the better.’’

When the five remaining defensemen had to cover for the injured McQuaid Monday, in a game that went into overtime, the effort left them exhausted.

“I was pretty beat,’’ said Dennis Seidenberg, who led all players with a whopping 36 minutes and 26 seconds of ice time. “Today I feel pretty good. We have a whole day to recover.’’

Julien is confident in Seidenberg’s stamina.

“Well, I would say he’s a horse,’’ said Julien. “He’s strong and you look at the minutes he’s been logging as well. He doesn’t get tired. He can take it. He’s a big, strong individual. He competes well.

“When we acquired him, the one thing we knew about him was he was really a big-game player and he’s proven that and even more so. When you look at the way he’s performed, you can see how much we missed him last year in the playoffs and how better we would have been as a team with him in it.

“He competes well, and the bigger the game, the better he gets.’’

Tighten it up Though the Bruins are ahead, 2-0, in the series, they realize that their second victory truly belongs to Tim Thomas (52 saves), and that they need to address some of the breakdowns that allowed the Flyers to take so many shots.

“There’s obviously some areas of our game that were certainly not up to par and that was maybe later in the game, and we have to correct those,’’ said Julien.

“We just totally lost the focus on the things we had to do and kind of got caught in the run-and-gun type of game. It certainly has never served us well in the past to play that type of game.

“Because of that, we saw some great scoring chances and we saw some breakaways, and if anything, they had a lot of space in the neutral zone. Those are the kind of adjustments we’re talking about.’’

Julien added that fatigue was not the problem.

“It looks like you’re tired when you’re chasing the puck the whole time,’’ he said, “and that’s what we did in the third period. We did a lot of chasing instead of a lot of playing and puck control.’’

The adjustments are simple enough to recognize; the challenge is executing in the face of wave after wave of oncoming Flyers.

“We’ve just got to try to get pucks in deep,’’ said defenseman Johnny Boychuk, “limit the turnovers, and keep play down their end as much as we can.’’

Power aid The Nashua (N.H.) Silver Nights of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League are rooting for the Bruins to score a power-play goal in the playoffs. It’s costing the team money until the Bruins produce. The Silver Knights, made up of prime college players, are giving away a free Powerade with every ticket purchased until the Bruins score a power-play goal. The Bruins are 0 for 28 on the man-advantage.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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